Why you should remove refined foods from your diet?
Processed Foods and Food Additives
Life is at such a fast pace and so busy these days. We rarely find time to make a home cooked meal never mind a healthy one. The thought of following a healthy lifestyle can be daunting. Not knowing where to start or what to eat. We often give up and cave in for those processed sugary and MSG filled foods. About 60-70 years ago, only ten per cent of the average persons Daily diet consisted of processed foods. Now that average is a scary 80% of our diet! Our bodies were never designed to cope with these processed foods, and definitely not in the amounts consumed. A highly processed diet will have devastating effects on your health and well being, and your ability to cope with the daily stress of modern times.
When processed foods and food additives are consumed it is linked with many common ailments, ranging from frequent colds and flu, allergies, blood pressure problems, behavioural disorders and impaired brain function. As well as conditions like heart disease, cancer and Diabetes. Consuming these food on a regular basis will eventually lead to low energy and general ill health. If you want to take control of your stress, you need to make an effort to avoid foods that are processed and full of additives. Rather make better choices by nourishing your body with plant foods that will keep you well and thriving!
Refined sugar affects the central nervous system and the endocrine system in a variety of ways, it is the number 1 enemy when it comes to depression, mood swings and irrational and emotional behaviour. We need glucose to function optimally. When your body starts to run low on glucose, it signals the lack of this vital brain nutrient through a craving for sweet things. And instead of eating fresh fruit we turn to refined sugar to satisfy our cravings. But refined sugar has a large impact on our blood sugar levels, and when our blood glucose levels are thrown out of balance many unpleasant symptoms can result including depression. The use of refined sugar depletes the body of B vitamins, so vital for brain function. This can result in fatigue anxiety irritability migraines hyperactivity forgetfulness phobias feelings of panic and lack of sex drive. All of these symptoms can be avoided by removing refined sugar and following a diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit, raw and cooked vegetables and nuts.
Artificial Sweeteners (Nutrasweet, canderel and equal)
Aspartame, it is claimed by independent scientists to cause neuro-endocrine disorders i.e. disorders of the central nervous system and the endocrine system (mental retardation, brain lesions).Further research shows that chronic brain damage may be caused when aspartame and MSG ( monosodium glutamate) are consumed together. Aspartame can upset any of the endocrine glands, but is suspected of slowing down the function of the thyroid thereby slowing down metabolic rate, which defeats the reason for taking it.
Sorbitol- mainly used as an artificial sweetener, formerly presumed safe – recent research shows that there is a possibility of it being carcinogenic causing in particular bladder tumors and can also cause diarrhea.
Saccharin– has been found to cause cancers in laboratory tests, particularly cancer of the unary tract. There has been much controversy surrounding this product throughout the past century, but the fact remains that it is carcinogenic and mutagenic (is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic material, usually DNA, of an organism and thus increases the frequency of mutations above the natural background level.).
*The most natural sweeteners to use would be freshly extracted juices, dried fruit pastes such as dates paste in baking, raw honey or pure maple syrup.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
This flavour enhancer stimulates the taste buds, which causes them to become inflamed and more sensitive. This deceives us into thinking that our food has more flavour than they really do. MSG is found in packet soups, seasoning, most processed savory foods, bouillon cubes, sauces and almost all fast food. MSG stimulates the taste buds to make them more sensitive which makes the food taste amazing. Just what the fast food industry wants. Almost every savory processed food contains this chemical and it is often referred to flavour enhancer. MSG affects the chemistry of the brain, and can cause discomfort to the body, including headaches, respiratory problems, and muscle tightness (usually felt in the neck and shoulder area).
Caffeine is found in coffee, cocoa, tea (including green tea), chocolate and soft drinks. It is a flavouring agent that acts as a stimulant, in turn affecting the Central Nervous System, the heart and the kidneys. Consumption can result in nervousness, anxiety, irritability, aggression, sleeplessness, and insomnia. It has been shown that coffee drinkers are more prone to heart disease. Continual stimulation of the Central Nervous System with caffeine can result in tiredness, depression, moodiness and contributes to ME.
Processed grains deplete the system of the vital B vitamins. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars and the body needs Vitamin B to process them. But because this vitamin is removed or destroyed during processing, when we eat refined carbohydrates the body robs itself of the vitamin B it requires. Eating refined carbohydrates means we cannot cope with stress very well as vitamin B is the stress vitamin.
Alcohol adds to our stress load. It affects all the glands in our Endocrine System (the system that helps you manage stress) and in particular the Thyroid gland (which helps maintain mental clarity). Alcohol slows down the metabolism, it suppresses your body’s fat burning ability by one third. When you are feeling stressed rather try doing something that takes you away from an environment that encourages you to drink alcohol, try walking or yoga.
Tips for keeping healthy
Check ingredients on the products you buy. It is time consuming at first but over this time it becomes second nature, and then you will know what is in your food! Most important, don’t buy it if sugar is in the first 3 ingredients, generally the less ingredients the better.
- Prepare with finding healthy snack recipes!
- Eat fruit if craving sugar
- Eat healthy fats if craving salty chips etc.
- Be prepared with snacks
- Eat enough whole foods until you are satisfied.
I hope this post has helped to inspire you to make the right choices and to maintain vibrant health.